I love this picture
Ansky39's Neighbor's Best Friend's 9th Cousin, Twice Removed.
They say a picture is worth 1,000 words...well, this one is worth about 100,000
Thanks everyone, for taking this trip down sentimentality lane with me...
Ansky39's Neighbor's Best Friend's 9th Cousin, Twice Removed.
Thanks Jim. The 'Mick' was more then just a player.
He is installed in my life.
I wish he was still around.
He was the Man.
If I could have 1 wish, it would be to be able to see the Mick play in a game. I've heard stories, but it doesn't do it justice I'm sure.
Ansky39's Neighbor's Best Friend's 9th Cousin, Twice Removed.
Thanks Jim, great pictures of my favorite player ever! That last one is hanging in my room.
"The-e-e Yankees Win!!!"
"And if I can make it there, I'm gonna make it, anywhere. It's up to you, New York, New York."
Wow! You don't know what those pics did to my heart..... Mickey was my first crush. (okay, along with the Beatles....remember, I'm older than dirt...)
I did get to see Mickey play towards the end of his career (late 60's), and my memories of him were that , although he couldn't run at all, he could still smash that ball like nobody's business. My friend and I used to wait after the games to see him (and Joe Pepitone). I never asked for his autograph cause I was too starstuck.... I would have died if he even talked to me.
I've always loved Mickey....... I guess I always will.
"When I was a little boy, I wanted to be a baseball player and join the circus. With the Yankees, I've accomplished both." - Graig Nettles
Has anyone read the book, "Letters to Mickey"? It is comprised of letters from friends and fans, including the letter Mick wrote to his fans four days before he died. After he went public with his confession of alcoholism, and his courageous battle against liver cancer, he received hundreds of thousands of letters from his fans. The letters in this book were chosen by Mickey and his family with all proceeds to go to The Mickey Mantle Foundation. It is the best tribute I have ever read about him, because all of the letters are from people just like us...the fans.
Ambassador of Goodwill
of The Ansky39 Fan Club
We're the Yanks and we're on the top,
We sweep out the opposition with a broom and mop,
Give the bat to Bernie, he ain't shy,
Every single year we get a by,
Jeter divin on the dirt, makin the double play,
Mets fans, close your eyes, 'cause today is a Yankee day!
JIM I grew up hearing MICKEY WAS GOD from my father, nobody was better than the MICK according to him. I know alot about THE MICK but never saw him play in person. I was able to get a MICKEY MANTLE CARD a few years ago, it was a steal, the old man who sold it to me did not have a clue about baseball cards. I will never sell that or any of my cards as I have them in a safe box for if anything ever happens to me they will go to my nephew. I have MICK hanging in my bedroom great picture. I also bought my father a painting of the MICK around 10 years ago, I paid 15 dollars for it, some guy offered my father 500.00 for it he wouldn't even budge, my old man loves that painting and the MICK, I'M GLAD he stuck w/his gun's. WHEN HE passed on it was a sad day my old man was sleeping when I went to go see him in the morning, he was devastated, not an emotionely man, but he went into the bathroom and balled his eyes out like a baby, the only time that i've ever really seen him cry. HE alway's tell me that THE MICK was the last true baseball hero for million's.
I am sorry to hear that you are to young to have seen the Mick play. I remember when he first appeared in a spring training game and how Casey Stengle loved him. Mafia, I thought that you were older and also remembered the Mick first hand. My dad told me stories about the Babe and Gehrig. We both lstened to the radio ( no TV was available) when Babe gave his lst speach in Yankee Stadium in Aug 1948. It was on Babe Ruth Day. I remember nothing about the game itself. Babe passed away shortly thereafter.
Jim, sometime soon we need to sit down over a beer in your neighborhood and talk about the Mick and the Yankees of the 1950's.
You missed a tremendous period in history.
"The way a team plays as a whole determines it's success. You may have the greatest bunch of stars in the world, but if they don't play together, the team won't be worth a dime." George Herman ("Babe") Ruth
Those are all great pictures. I've never seen the first two. I love that one where the tourist is taking his picture. It shows what a good guy he was.
Hey Jim that last picture you posted looks familiar. Mickey is my all-time favorite Yankee. Man what a force. He played 18 years on bad wheels and accomplished so much. If only he hadn't succumbed the demon rum. Still he was better drunk than 90% of the guys in his time were sober.
God Bless You Mickey Mantle!
Official Ambassador from the Left Coast
26 in 2G
[This message has been edited by CalifYanksFan (edited April 17, 2000).]
I'm gonna cry......
I was just starting to get in to the Yankees when Mickey died...certainly, I'm way too young ever to have seen him play, but I did once get to see his son -- Danny, I think -- at the '96 Fan Fest he was signing autographs very informally. I was too shy to go over there and ask him, though, and I kind of regret it now. Course I didn't know much about Mick in those days so I really don't know what I would've said...
PS, I always loved that picture of Mantle, Maris, and Claire Ruth!
Jim, some of those pictures sent a tingle down my back. Yeah, I saw the Mick play, maybe literally a thousand times. I took him for granted. Never once did I expect him to do anything but hit one out of the park. I saw him age, but never stop smiling. Baseball was his life, and there was never one greater that Number 7. I know he's on Heavens all star team, and he's batting fourth. The biggest thrill of my life was having him wave right at me. There were a couple a thousand people behind me, but I know he was waving only to me. I have some signed Mantle items, and I swear, when I hold them, I can feel the magic, I can feel the magic right down to my toes!! Ruth may have built the house, but the Mick made it home to me..
[big]IT OCCURS TO ME[/big] as we're all sitting here thinking of Mickey, he's probably somewhere getting an earful from Casey Stengel, and no doubt quite confused by now.
One of Mickey's fondest wishes was that he be remembered as a great teammate, to know that the men he played with thought well of him.
But it was more than that. Moose and Whitey and Tony and Yogi and Bobby and Hank, what a remarkable team you were. And the stories of the visits you guys made to Mickey's bedside the last few days were heartbreakingly tender. It meant everything to Mickey, as would the presence of so many baseball figures past and present here today.
I was honored to be asked to speak by the Mantle family today. I am not standing here as a broadcaster. Mel Allen is the eternal voice of the Yankees and that would be his place. And there are others here with a longer and deeper association with Mickey than mine.
But I guess I'm here, not so much to speak for myself as to simply represent the millions of baseball-loving kids who grew up in the '50s and '60s and for whom Mickey Mantle was baseball.
And more than that, he was a presence in our lives -- a fragile hero to whom we had an emotional attachment so strong and lasting that it defied logic. Mickey often said he didn't understand it, this enduring connection and affection -- for men now in their 40s and 50s, otherwise perfectly sensible, who went dry in the mouth and stammered like schoolboys in the presence of Mickey Mantle.
Maybe Mick was uncomfortable with it, not just because of his basic shyness, but because he was always too honest to regard himself as some kind of deity.
But that was never really the point. In a very different time than today, the first baseball commissioner, Kenesaw Mountain Landis, said every boy builds a shrine to some baseball hero, and before that shrine, a candle always burns.
For a huge portion of my generation, Mickey Mantle was that baseball hero. And for reasons that no statistics, no dry recitation of facts can possibly capture, he was the most compelling baseball hero of our lifetime. And he was our symbol of baseball at a time when the game meant something to us that perhaps it no longer does.
Mickey Mantle had those dual qualities so seldom seen, exuding dynamism and excitement but at the same time touching your heart -- flawed, wounded. We knew there was something poignant about Mickey Mantle before we knew what poignant meant.
We didn't just root for him, we felt for him.
Long before many of us ever cracked a serious book, we knew something about mythology as we watched Mickey Mantle run out a home run through the lengthening shadows of a late Sunday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.
There was greatness in him, but vulnerability too.
He was our guy. When he was hot, we felt great. When he slumped or got hurt, we sagged a bit too. We tried to crease our caps like him; kneel in an imaginary on-deck circle like him; run like him heads down, elbows up.
Billy Crystal is here today. Billy says that at his bar mitzvah he spoke in an Oklahoma drawl. Billy's here today because he loved Mickey Mantle, and millions more who felt like him are here today in spirit as well.
It's been said that the truth is never pure and rarely simple.
Mickey Mantle was too humble and honest to believe that the whole truth about him could be found on a Wheaties box or a baseball card. But the emotional truths of childhood have a power to transcend objective fact. They stay with us through all the years, withstanding the ambivalence that so often accompanies the experiences of adults.
That's why we can still recall the immediate tingle in that instant of recognition when a Mickey Mantle popped up in a pack of Topps bubble gum cards -- a treasure lodged between an Eli Grba and a Pumpsie Green.
That's why we smile today, recalling those October afternoons when we'd sneak a transistor radio into school to follow Mickey and the Yankees in the World Series.
Or when I think of Mr. Tomasee, a very wise sixth-grade teacher who understood that the World Series was more important, at least for one day, than any school lesson could be. So he brought his black-and-white TV from home, plugged it in and let us watch it right there in school through the flicker and the static. It was richer and more compelling than anything I've seen on a high-resolution, big-screen TV.
Of course, the bad part, Bobby, was that Koufax struck 15 of you guys out that day.
My phone's been ringing the past few weeks as Mickey fought for his life. I've heard from people I hadn't seen or talked to in years -- guys I played stickball with, even some guys who took Willie's side in those endless Mantle-Mays arguments. They're grown up now. They have their families. They're not even necessarily big baseball fans anymore. But they felt something hearing about Mickey, and they figured I did too.
In the last year, Mickey Mantle, always so hard on himself, finally came to accept and appreciate that distinction between a role model and a hero. The first he often was not, the second he always will be.
In the end, people got it. And Mickey Mantle got from America something other than misplaced and mindless celebrity worship. He got something far more meaningful. He got love -- love for what he had been; love for what he made us feel; love for the humanity and sweetness that was always there mixed in with the flaws and all the pain that wracked his body and his soul.
We wanted to tell him that it was OK, that what he had been was enough. We hoped he felt that Mutt Mantle would have understood and that Merlyn and the boys loved him.
And then in the end, something remarkable happened -- the way it does for champions. Mickey Mantle rallied. His heart took over, and he had some innings as fine as any in 1956 or with his buddy, Roger, in 1961.
But this time, he did it in the harsh and trying summer of '95. And what he did was stunning. The sheer grace of that ninth inning — the humility, the sense of humor, the total absence of self pity, the simple eloquence and honesty of his pleas to others to take heed of his mistakes.
All of America watched in admiration. His doctors said he was, in many ways, the most remarkable patient they'd ever seen. His bravery, so stark and real, that even those used to seeing people in dire circumstances were moved by his example.
Because of that example, organ donations are up dramatically all across America. A cautionary tale has been honestly told and perhaps will affect some lives for the better.
And our last memories of Mickey Mantle are as heroic as the first.
None of us, Mickey included, would want to be held to account for every moment of our lives. But how many of us could say that our best moments were as magnificent as his?
This is the cartoon from this morning's Dallas Morning News. Maybe some of you saw it. It got torn a little bit on the way to the hotel to here. There's a figure here, St. Peter I take it to be, with his arm around Mickey, that broad back and the number 7. He's holding his book of admissions. He says "Kid, that was the most courageous ninth inning I've ever seen."
It brings to mind a story Mickey liked to tell on himself and maybe some of you have heard it. He pictured himself at the pearly gates, met by St. Peter who shook his head and said "Mick, we checked the record. We know some of what went on. Sorry, we can't let you in. But before
you go, God wants to know if you'd sign these six dozen baseballs."
Well, there were days when Mickey Mantle was so darn good that we kids would bet that even God would want his autograph. But like the cartoon says, I don't think Mick needed to worry much about the other part.
I just hope God has a place for him where he can run again. Where he can play practical jokes on his teammates and smile that boyish smile, 'cause God knows, no one's perfect. And God knows there's something special about heroes.
So long, Mick. Thanks.
When I think of Mickey in later years is how when he found out he needed a liver and was facing death he didn't whine or cry about it. He faced it like a man and admitted he made a mistake about his drinking. Mick was by no means perfect. He was an Oklahoma boy playing in the toughest arena in the world. He did, I'm sure, what he thought was expected of him. Look at the Babe. An original Yankees bad boy. But people loved him. Same goes for Billy Martin, Whitey and Mickey. Why? Because they had a certain charisma and they were winners. They were and are the epitome of the New York Yankees lore and mystique.
I get very sad when I think of the Mickey Mantle I got to see play and the Mickey Mantle that could have been had things gone different in life. Who knows how many home runs he could have hit or how many records he could have set. But I'll always love and cherish the memory of the Mickey Mantle we had. He is a true Yankees legend who has to take a back seat to no one.
Nome, MAF and Jim - Casey did love him and I'm sure Mick's getting an earful from him every day.
I think that eulogy made everybody cry.
"You aint my b!tch, n!gga! Buy your own damn fries!" -- Barack Obama
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